Cat Supplies: What Are the Basics?
Cat supplies can almost seem like baby supplies. There’s just so much stuff out there, and you can’t help thinking you need it all. And, if you don’t have it all, does that mean you aren’t doing the best for your cat?
But the fact is that, when it comes to cat supplies, you only need a few basics to fulfill most of your cat’s needs. And here are some of the essentials.
Feeding and Grooming Supplies
Feeding and grooming tend to be the two things a new cat owner thinks about first. Well, they want to make sure they feed their cat good, healthy food. And they also want to know how hard it might be—and what kind of stuff it will take—to keep their cat well groomed.
When it comes to cat food, you should ask your veterinarian for some recommendations. They will know which cat food will be the best and most healthy for your cat or kitten.
Any type of bowl will work as a food or water dishes. But stainless steel dishes have a big advantage. They are much harder to tip over than a plastic dish would be. Which means you will have fewer messes to clean up.
How much grooming your cat will need will depend on the type of coat they have. The longer their coat, the more grooming they will require. But every cat will need a few basics, like shampoo, products designed to prevent flea and tick infestations, and claw clippers. You also should consider buying a brush for your cat. This is something many cat owners don’t think about, but even cats with very short coats can benefit from being brushed regularly.
Finally, you need supplies to take care of your cat’s dental needs. You should be able to find edible cat toothpaste at a pet supply store. Brush your cat’s teeth at least once a week with a soft, child-sized toothbrush.
Do You Need a Scratching Post?
Many people wouldn’t consider a scratching post basic cat supplies. But if you have nice furniture, and there is any chance at all that your cat or new kitten might get it into their head to test their claws out on it (which is very likely) a scratching post is essential. The sooner you can get a scratching post into your home, and get your cat going to their scratching post whenever they get the scratching urge, the better.
The fact is that it’s natural for a cat to scratch. Expecting them not to would be like expecting them not to breathe. And trying to train them not to scratch at all would be an exercise in futility. No, your best bet is to get them not to scratch your belongings by giving them something more desirable to sharpen their claws on.
There are all kinds of scratching posts available. And while you don’t necessarily need something elaborate and expensive, you don’t want one that’s cheaply made either. Not only can they be unsafe in some cases, they will have to be replaced more often, which could end up costing you more in the long run.
Buying a Litter Box
When it comes to buying a litter box, there are all kinds of makes, models and styles to choose from, including some that come with covers. But, really, the most important question is how many you should have. A good rule of thumb is that you should have one litter box for every cat you own. And you should also have a few extras strategically placed throughout your home.
After the litter box itself, the next thing to consider is what kind of cat litter you will be using. There are many different kinds of cat litter, each with their own pros and cons. For example, will you use clumping cat litter or not. Clumping cat litter makes clean up a little easier. Every day, you scoop out the cat’s waste in clumps, and you only have to give the litter box a complete washing every month or so. With non-clumping cat litter, you would have to clean the litter box every week.
Why do you need a cat bed? There are several good reasons. First, cats are pretty territorial creatures. They like a place that’s all their own, and having a cat bed gives them that place. And if they have their own warm, comfy space, they are less likely to end up lounging on your sofa or sleeping in your bed.
When shopping for a cat bed, you of course want to try to find something your cat will like. But maintenance is an even bigger consideration. Your cat’s bed should be easy to keep clean. Otherwise, you might end up having to deal with things like unpleasant odor issues.
You should have one cat bed for every cat you own. As stated above, cats are territorial creatures. When a cat claims a bed, they will mark it as their own, and won’t look kindly on other cats trying to use their bed. Getting each cat in your home their own bed will prevent territorial disputes between your cats.
Cat toys are not exactly essential. But your life as a cat owner will be much easier with them than without. Cat toys can serve a variety of purposes. First of all, they are just fun, and even your cats should have a way to enjoy themselves. If you have to leave your cat alone for long periods of time (to go to work, for example) cat toys can help keep them entertained, so they won’t get so lonely. Cat toys are a good way to keep a busy and mischievous cat out of trouble. And if you’re worried that your cat isn’t active enough, cat toys are the perfect solution. They’ll be having so much fun playing with their cat toys that they won’t even realize they’re exercising.
When trying to figure out what your cat needs, the sheer amount of cat supplies on the market can be pretty overwhelming. But, really, all you need is a few simple basics to keep your cat healthy, happy, and entertained.